I finally got around to watching HBO’s movie based on the supposedly tempestuous relationship between war correspondent Martha Gellhorn and author Ernest Hemingway, and the photo above says it all: this was a story about booze.
It was also a movie best viewed while consuming booze – it was that boring.
The beginning when Nicole Kidman was narrating from flashback as an older, wiser woman was terrific. The makeup was perfect and her low register was compelling, rendering her nearly unrecognizable.
But then we were treated to Clive Owen, whom I’ve adored in every other role he’s played, relentlessly chewing the scenery as the larger-than-life Hemingway. Ugh.
Being forced to watch those two fighting and fucking and throwing back shots of whiskey during the Spanish Civil War put me into a stupor and I fell asleep. The director could easily have cut a half-hour and I wouldn’t have missed it.
I did enjoy the gimmick of placing the actors in actual newsreel footage, but the supporting players like the usually wonderful Robert Duvall were cartoonish and silly. And the stars – well – they made me yearn for Bogie and Bacall.
I was hoping for a story about a couple of famous writers and how they navigated their fame and their marriage, but what I got was an attempt at a sweeping saga of world events that ended up doing nothing but sweeping me into a coma. Well, that’s a little harsh. The movie did have its moments….